Part 2: Learning About Your Topic and Choosing Your Impact Project
Now that you have your topic, it is time to learn as much about it as you can before choosing your project. A project is a specific action you will take to make a positive impact on your Topic. In order to know good actions to take, you will have to do some research.
Watch this video of Changemaker alumna Mariana describing the research their team did to go from Topic to Project:
It is important to do Internet research and field research through interviews. You can use the internet to answer questions like:
What are organizations already working on this Topic?
What is currently being done to make an impact on this Topic?
How many people are affected by this Topic?
You can use interviews with people in your community to answer questions like:
How do people in my community feel about this issue?
Is there anyone in my community that can help me?
Do people in my community have cool ideas for projects I can do?
Note: Many Changemakers feel like these interviews can be the hardest part, but they are super important. Being committed to learning from others when making a change is a critical leadership skill that will serve you for the rest of your life. Challenge yourself to talk to at least five people to learn how they feel about your Topic and what ideas they have for your Project. Three of them can be the same as the people you spoke with in Part 1!
Once you have conducted your internet research and interviews, it is time to choose your Project. A Project is an action with a beginning and an end. It might be an event. Or creating a website. Or organizing a neighborhood clean-up. Or something else. The goal is to find something that you can do to impact your Topic.
Having trouble deciding on a Project? Watch this video of Changemaker alumna Shyanne describing how their team used a root cause analysis to decide which project would be best:
Examples of Changemaker Projects:
Students at Ellen Ochoa created a video to advocate for better Social Emotional Learning Resources in Jails and Prisons.
Springdale Changemakers created a Big Buddy/Little Buddy program at their school to support younger students with learning while helping older students develop their leadership.
Kendall Whittier Changemakers hosted a puppy therapy event at their school to help students learn about positive mental health strategies.
Social Distance-Friendly Ideas:
Creating a website to raise awareness about your Topic and ways to help.
Social Media Campaigns
Calling and e-mailing lawmakers about your concerns.
Watch this video of Changemaker alumna Kaylie describing their projects and the impact they made:
Once you have chosen your Project, send your choice to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to help!
Note: Your Project is one small step in making a change. During your research you may have found a lot of awesome ways to get involved. Maybe there are volunteer opportunities. Or ways to raise money for organizations you believe in. We hope you consider getting involved in many different ways, not just impact projects!
Go to Part 3: Executing Your Project
Or go back to: